Mountain Dew’s Indepence Day ad: Fizzy or flat?

Industry observers weigh in on the viral Independence Day ode conceptualised by Wunderman Thompson

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Updated: Aug 14, 2020 8:12 AM

Beverage brand Mountain Dew is out with an Independence Day spot that is already going viral.

The ad has clocked 1.7 million views on YouTube (until the time of filing this copy). The ad salutes India’s resilient spirit this Independence Day with a rendition of the timeless anthem of patriotism, ‘Yeh Desh Hai Veer Jawaano Ka’ from Saregama. Mountain Dew’s take on the anthem has been composed by music producer/composer Ram Sampath, and features vocals from Bollywood singer Sukhwinder Singh. The lyrics of the rendition, written by renowned lyricist Swanand Kirkire, reiterate the brand philosophy of 'Darr Ke Aage Jeet Hai' and salutes the nation’s spirit of emerging victorious in the face of fear. We speak to ad-marketing experts to find out whether it manages to make the cut.
Set to the lyrics, 'Yeh Desh Hai Veer Jawaano Ka, Albelo ka Mastano ka, Yahan Sadiyon Se Ye Reet Hai Ji, Har Darr Ke Aage Jeet Hai Ji', the video features stills of some of independent India’s defining moments be it the 1983 cricket world cup, the launch of the homegrown Mangalyaan, A.R Rahman’s Oscar win or the bravado of the real heroes facing the current times - all of which are testimony to the resilience of India and a reminder on how we will be victorious again and come out of the challenging times we are facing today.
Harsh Maheshwari, Executive Creative Director, Wunderman Thompson shares that the creative brief to the agency was to take Mountain Dew’s inspiring narrative of 'Darr Ke Aage Jeet Hai' further and create something special that resonates with the whole country. Maheshwari contends that once the idea was aligned with everyone on the project, distance wasn’t all that challenging. “Sukhwinder’s unmatched energy could travel from Bombay to Gurgaon real time. For the most part on the shoot day, we were just sitting on the video call mesmerised by his singing and performance,” he explained.

Fab or drab?
According to Prathap Suthan, managing partner and chief creative officer (CCO) of Bang In The Middle, the ad manages to get it right in most aspects. “Yes, all boxes have been ticked. Even a beauty queen shot has been added. Everyone will be happy, momentarily,” he remarked.
However Suthan adds, “While I understand the Independence Day reason why patriotism currently needs to have a military uniform, and the avoidable advertising reason to have the hackneyed shots of triumphant Indians, I truly believe that they should have just focused on the frontline warriors. They are the true ambassadors of this moment in our history and destiny. They are the ones who are truly putting their lives on the line, and literally living out the tagline of 'Dar Ke Aage Jeet Hai'. Every day and in every corner of our vast nation. I wish the brand paid tribute to their courage and selflessness.”
Priya Gurnani,Senior Creative Director, Publicis Worldwide, Mumbai, lauds the piece of work and how it is aligned to the brand proposition.
“Another one of those inspirational videos that will crowd our screens on Independence Day. A brand not even of Indian origin claims to know and own the spirit of this country! The only thing working here is the campaign line which fits in beautifully with the brand proposition and the purpose it was written for. Looks like the creatives did their job well,” she asserts.
Ad filmmaker Aneesh Shah too likes how the ad is in line with the brand proposition. "The overall idea of paying a tribute to people's resilience, saluting the nation's spirit and how it reiterates the brand philosophy of 'Darr Ke Aage Jeet Hai' works well. Great work," he states.
Meanwhile Pallavi Chakravarti, Executive Creative Director, Taproot Dentsu, opines, “We are living in extremely troubled times. In my opinion, while hope and silver linings are always welcome, mindless jingoism is avoidable. If there is nothing sensitive, relevant or useful to say, perhaps it is best to say nothing.”
The anthem was released through a 360-degree marketing campaign spanning television, digital, music platforms and social media.

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